People seem to be positioning wedding movie Bachelorette as a Bridesmaids knockoff, which strikes me as unfortunate, considering the former is supposed to be more acid than the latter, and the emotions in it are oriented in a slightly different direction. While Bridesmaids was about a rivalry between a bride’s oldest friend and a new friend to whom she’s become close, Bachelorette is about what happens when women actively resent a friend who they’re helping prepare for her wedding:
Weddings Make the Ladies Crazy is a cliche that’s made for a lot of deeply awful movies that perpetuate awful stereotypes about catfights and female materialism. I literally could not care less about Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson go to war over which one of them gets to get married at the Plaza. But weddings are an inflection point, one that raises questions about where people in the bridal party think their lives are supposed to be, and how much they give to other people or how poorly they take care of themselves in times of stress, and that can make for interesting stories.
27 Dresses may have been dismissed as yet another Katherine Heigl romcom, but it’s also a movie about a woman who is taking care of other people to avoid pursuing her own dreams or taking stock of her own life. In Her Shoes, which builds towards a wedding, is a sly rebuke to romance dogma, which is that the perfect man will come along and accept you who you are and heal your brokenness. Instead, it’s a story about how if you want to be in a relationship, you have to get yourself to a place where you have things to give as well as missing pieces someone else can turn out to be. And I think Bachelorette could touch the third rail of weddings: the sense by a member of the wedding party that it’s inexplicable that the bride would be getting married before yourself. That’s an ugly emotion, tied up here in ideas about Rebel Wilson’s body and mien, and I’m kind of glad that the movie is taking it on. The relationships between women—and goodness knows, I’ve been a very happy maid of honor to some gorgeous brides—aren’t as vicious and divided as they can be portrayed in popular culture, and the profusion fo fake friendships on something like the Real Housewives doesn’t help. But there are real, painful dynamics there, inflected by societal dynamics on race, and class, and education, and looks. I’d rather movies mine the details of those conflicts thoughtfully and for specific drama, rather than not doing them at all.